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Exports grew in March while manufacturing ticks up

April 2, 2024 – Both the national Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Report on Business and the Heartland Business Report revealed a positive outlook on new export orders in March according to the latest survey of supply managers.


The ISM survey reported that exports remained the same for March at a reading of 51.6 while in the 9-state Heartland region, March exports soared to 53.9 from the dismal February reading of 23.9.


The ISM report noted that economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in March after contracting for 16 consecutive months.


“The ISM new export orders Index reading indicates that export orders expanded in March for a second straight month after eight consecutive months of contraction. Panelists’ comments supported the continued improvement in demand from overseas customers,” said Timothy R. Fiore, Chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “The new export orders Index reading of 51.6 percent is the same reading as registered in February.”


“The overall Heartland index, much like the US reading, has hovered around growth neutral for the last four months. Additionally, supply managers remained pessimistic regarding the 2024 outlook with approximately 68% expecting a 2024 economic recession,” said Ernie Goss PhD, director of Creighton University’s Economic Forecasting Group and the Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics in the Heider College of Business.

Ernie Goss, PhD
Ernie Goss, PhD

The Heartland’s manufacturing sector is reported weak with higher inflation creeping in and a dwindling number of new hires having lost jobs for a third straight month. 


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